A Patient's Guide to Upper Back Pain

When you have to live with chronic upper back pain near Marietta, you may not be able to work regularly or participate in activities you enjoy. Fortunately, an orthopaedic doctor can provide back pain relief, or effective pain management techniques that can significantly improve your life. Before you visit an orthopaedic doctor, take a look at this patient guide to upper back pain.

Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

One of the most common causes of upper back pain is overuse of the muscles that support the spinal column of the upper back. You can experience a muscle sprain or strain that results in upper back pain. Another common cause is an injury to muscles, ligaments, or discs that support the upper back. This may result in a herniated disc, spinal fracture, or pressure on the sciatic nerve. Poor posture, sports injuries, car accidents, slips, falls, and lifting or carrying heavy objects can all cause muscle sprain, strain, or injury. Medical conditions like scoliosis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and degenerative disc disease can also contribute to upper back pain.

When to Visit an Orthopaedic Doctor

You should visit an orthopaedic doctor if your back pain is incredibly severe, if it is interfering with your daily life, or if the back pain worsens or fails to get better after at-home treatment. You should seek emergency services immediately if your back pain occurs along with symptoms of a heart attack, or if you have paralysis, severe back pain and neck pain, loss of bladder or bowel control, sciatic pain, fever, painful urination, or worsening weakness or numbness in your legs.

Effective Treatment Methods for Back Pain Relief

The orthopaedic treatment that you receive will largely depend upon the cause and severity of your symptoms. Your orthopaedic doctor is likely to first recommend conservative, non-surgical orthopaedic treatment. This may include rest, activity modification, heat or ice, physical therapy and exercise, and pain medication. If these treatments are ineffective, he may suggest massage therapy, acupuncture, spinal manipulation or decompression, physiotherapy, and other pain management techniques.